Scenes from Milwaukee-Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers

I have just returned from Milwaukee, where Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers held its 20th anniversary of Returning the Gift–our annual festival.  After spending those six days (September 4 – 9) with wonderful poets, writers, publishers and performers– energy was buzzing out of my head!  Not to mention the literal heartache of leaving when it was all over. It’s a good thing I took all those photos with my new digital camera, for on the plane ride home, I could re-live some great moments by clicking through all the photos.  I’d like to share them with you at this time, via a slideshow.  Hover your mouse over the lower left corner, and you can advance the image.  If you click on the icon in the right side of the image, you can view a smaller but full photo.  There are 22 images.  My only regret is that I didn’t get everyone photographed!

I hope you enjoy seeing them all–and please ask me questions about any of these creative souls!


Wonderful News

Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers selected my book–Games of Transformation–as the poetry book of the year.  I haven’t stopped smiling since the news came to me a few weeks ago.  Nothing beats recognition from one’s peers.  The award ceremony will be Friday evening, September 7, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Wordcraft’s annual festival, Returning the Gift, September 4th through the 9th.  Here are a few more honorees:

  • Kim Blaeser, Drama for Museum at Red Earth;
  • Geary Hobson, Fiction for Plain of Jars and Other Stories;
  • Lois Red Elk, Non-fiction for Our Blood Remembers;
  • Allison Hedge Coke, Editor of the Year for Sing: Poetry for the Indigenous Americas; and
  • Dianne Glancy, Film for Dome of Heaven;

On Saturday and Sunday, I will be reading with some of these illustrious poets, including Rain Gomez, Denise Sweet and Denise Low.  The last two are former Poet Laureates from Wisconsin and Kansas, respectively.  As I will be rooming with the two Denise’s, don’t be surprised if the hotel’s roof might lift away from its moorings with so much poetry passion!

Visit either Facebook at Returning the Gift National Native Writers and Storytellers Conference 2012 or  for more information about this fantastic writer’s conference.  The Oneida Nation’s art journal, Yukhika-latuhse, is the co-sponsor of this year’s Returning the Gift Festival.

For more information about Games of Transformation, scroll down a ways to my November 10, 2011 post.  Finally, I want to thank Albatross Press and its editor and publisher, Terry Straus and Michael Brehm, for their belief in and support of my creative work.  This has meant the world to me.